Clayton Turns Taps Back On After Water Scare
Posted June 20, 2007 11:39 a.m. EDT
Updated June 20, 2007 6:09 p.m. EDT
Clayton, N.C. — About 18 hours after issuing a boil-water order for local residents, Clayton officials said Wednesday morning that the town's water was once again safe to drink.
The boil-water order order came after tests revealed coliform bacteria in the water. Total coliform bacteria generally aren't harmful, officials said, but their presence indicates that other, harmful bacteria might have gotten into the water.
Follow-up tests on water samples collected late Tuesday after water lines were flushed came back negative, said Tim Simpson of Clayton Public Works, and state regulators agreed with town officials that residents could resume normal water use.
"Folks can resume their normal water use activities without any concern for public health and safety," Simpson said.
Town officials confirmed that they knew Monday of the results showing bacteria in two of 15 regular testing locations. It remains unclear why the boil-water order wasn't issued until about 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Simpson said the notice was a precaution, noting there might not have been any dangerous bacteria in the water.
"It's also possible the sample was contaminated inadvertently either during the collection, transit or analysis process," he said.
No businesses were ordered closed because of the boil-water order, but a few day-care centers and restaurants in town closed Wednesday as a precaution.
Becky Howden opened her coffee shop Wednesday morning and brought in bags of ice for cold drinks and bottled water to brew tea and coffee. Water contamination was the hot topic among customers, she said.
"I think there was a bit of confusion whether (people with) well water, they could use their water," Howden said.